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Buying and Selling Firearms in Connecticut
Buying and Selling Firearms in Connecticut
 
Information from the Department of Public Safety
 

The firearms section of the SLFU is responsible for overseeing and regulating all retail firearm transactions and all private handgun transfers taking place within the State of Connecticut. The SLFU is the point of contact (POC) for obtaining National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) authorization numbers as required under state and federal law. The unit also maintains machine gun and assault weapon registries and is the statewide repository for firearms collected for destruction. The unit is further responsible for investigating violations of state law relating to the purchase, sale and transfer of firearms in conjunction with the Statewide Firearms Trafficking Task Force (SFTTF).

Retail Sale of Firearms (All Firearms)
Retail sales are made when you purchase a new or used firearm from a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL). These transactions are strictly regulated by the Special License and Firearms (SLFU) and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

You will be required to complete Federal form 4473 (yellow, two-page form) and State Form DPS- 67-C (Application to Purchase) for every firearm you intend to buy. The dealer will then contact the SLFU and obtain an authorization number, allowing the transaction to proceed. The final step will be the completion of State Form DPS-3-C (Sale or Transfer), which is to be filled out at the time the firearm is delivered to the buyer.

DPS-67-C  Application to Purchase

DPS-3-C   Sale or Transfer 

In the event that you are denied or temporarily denied an authorization number by the SLFU, you may contact the office for an explanation. (860) 685- 8494.

Retail Sale Certificate
In October 1999, the Connecticut Legislature passed a law that requires any retail store which sells firearms as a secondary or other than principal business focus to provide minimum training to it’s employees. The training and certification requirements are outlined in Public Act 99-212 (Section 6): C.G.S. 29-37f.

Sec. 6. (NEW) No person, firm or corporation that engages in the retail sale of goods, where the principal part of such trade or business is the retail sale of goods other than firearms, shall employ a person to sell firearms in a retail store unless such person (1) is at least eighteen years of age, (2) has submitted to state and national criminal history records checks and such checks indicate that such person has not been convicted of a felony or a violation specified in subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of section 29-36f of the general statutes, and (3) has successfully completed a course or testing approved by the Commissioner of Public Safety in firearms safety and statutory procedures relating to the sale of firearms. The sale of firearms by such person, firm or corporation shall be accomplished only by an employee qualified pursuant to this section. Any employer who employs a person to sell firearms in violation of the provisions of this section shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than ten thousand dollars per day for each violation. The Attorney General shall institute a civil action to recover such penalty.

SLFU has developed a test to be administered to the employees of retail stores. The employer is responsible for developing a training curriculum or otherwise securing training for its employees from private instructors. Once the employees are adequately trained the employer may contact SLFU to arrange testing. A criminal history record check will be run on each employee taking the test. A certificate will be issued to those employees that pass the test. There is no fee for the test administration or criminal history record check.

Private Sale of Firearms

Pistols, Revolvers, Rifles and Shotguns
Federal Law states you may only buy a handgun in the state in which you reside.

You can only buy a handgun in Connecticut, if in addition to being a resident, you have a valid Permit to carry Pistols or Revolvers, a valid Eligibility Certificate, if you are a licensed Firearms Dealer or if you are a Sworn Police Officer.

DPS-67-C and a DPS-3-C (4 copies) must be completed. The seller of the handgun must contact the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit at (860) 685-8400, or 1-(888) 335-8438 and obtain an authorization number for that sale. This number is to be added to both forms. The DPS-67-C is to be retained by the seller for 20 years. The seller should retain the original copy for their records, give one copy to the purchaser as a receipt, submit one copy to the local police authority where the purchaser resides and submit a final copy to the Commissioner of Public Safety.

Assault Weapons

Section 53-202a of the Connecticut General Statutes gives the definition, and an itemized list of what weapons are considered Assault Weapons. 

Definition.  (1) Any selective-fire firearm capable of fully automatic, semiautomatic or burst fire at the option of the user or any of the following specified semiautomatic firearms: List of Assault Weapons

Who may possess Assault Weapons in Connecticut?

Law enforcement and military personnel may possess Assault Weapons in connection with their official duties, and any person who has a Certificate of Possession issued by the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit may possess the Assault Weapon listed on their certificate.

Can I get a Certificate of Possession for my Assault Weapon now?

No. The only exceptions to this would be a person who has been out of state serving in the military prior to October 1994, or a person who receives an Assault Weapon through bequeath or intestate succession providing the weapon already had a certificate. In these instances, the person has 90 days to register the weapon with the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit

I just moved into Connecticut and I possess an Assault Weapon. May I keep the weapon or if not what are my options?

Within 90 days of moving to Connecticut, you may sell the weapon to any licensed gun dealer, or you must do one of the following;

1) render the weapon permanently inoperable,
2) sell it to an out of state dealer,
3) relinquish the weapon to a law enforcement agency.

If you choose to keep the weapon you risk felony arrest.

I never registered my Assault Weapon, What are my options?

You can only render it permanently inoperable, or relinquish it to a law enforcement agency.

Can Connecticut gun dealers buy or sell Assault Weapons?

A licensed gun dealer may purchase any Assault Weapon that has a Certificate of Possession, or any Assault weapon that has been transferred into Connecticut as part of someone’s personal belongings for less than 90 days. The dealer may then sell them to other dealers, law enforcement agencies, or out of state.

Can Police Officers buy Assault Weapons?

No. Police Departments can buy them and give them to their officers to use, although the individual officers cannot buy Assault Weapons.

Gun Show
A “Gun Show” is defined as: any event at which fifty or more firearms are offered or exhibited for sale, transfer or exchange to the public.

All sales, transfers or exchanges taking place at a Gun Show require the seller to obtain an authorization number from the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit.

PA 99-212 Sec. 17. (NEW) (a) For the purposes of this section, (1) "gun show" means any event (A) at which fifty or more firearms are offered or exhibited for sale, transfer or exchange to the public and (B) at which two or more persons are exhibiting one or more firearms for sale, transfer or exchange to the public; and (2) "gun show promoter" means any person who organizes, plans, promotes or operates a gun show. (b) Not later than thirty days before commencement of a gun show, the gun show promoter shall notify the chief of police or, where there is no chief of police, the warden of the borough or the first selectman of the town in which the gun show is to take place of the date, time, duration and location of the gun show. (c) No person, firm or corporation shall sell, deliver or otherwise transfer a firearm at a gun show until such person, firm or corporation has complied with the provisions of section 29-36l of the general statutes, as amended by this act.

Machine Guns
Machine Guns are strictly regulated by the U.S. Department of Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) as well as the Connecticut State Police, Special Licensing and Firearms Unit (SLFU).

Connecticut residents may purchase Machine Guns if they are capable of a “full automatic only” rate of fire. Any select fire weapon is considered an “Assault Weapon” and is prohibited by State Law.

Dealers who are licensed to sell “machine Guns” have all the necessary Federal paperwork required for that transaction.

Any Connecticut resident who owns a “Machine Gun” is required to complete form DPS-418-C, registering that “Machine Gun” with the SLFU immediately upon receiving it and upon an annual basis thereafter.  Form DPS-418-C is not available on-line, they are available from Federal Firearm License holders.

Registered owners will be notified yearly with a registration form-letter which must be signed and returned to the SLFU.

If you currently own a “Machine Gun” and do not receive a yearly registration form, you must contact the SLFU for instructions on registering your firearm.

Firearm Prohibitors

1.  No person convicted for a Felony or a Misdemeanor crime of domestic violence involving the use or threatened use of physical force or a deadly weapon may possess any firearms in Connecticut.

 
2.  No person may obtain a Pistol Permit, Eligibility Certificate, or possess any handguns if they are less than 21 years of age, subject to a Protective or Restraining Order, or if they have been convicted of a felony, or convicted in Connecticut for any of the following misdemeanors:
 

3.  Other persons prohibited from possessing a firearm include anyone convicted as delinquent for the commission of a serious juvenile offense; or has been discharged from custody within the preceding twenty years after having been found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect; or has been confined in a hospital for persons with psychiatric disabilities (as defined in section 17a-495) within the preceding twelve months by order of a probate court; or is subject to a firearms seizure order issued pursuant to subsection (d) of section 18 of public act 99-129 after notice and an opportunity to be heard have been provided to such person; or is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States.

Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take,
but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

~ Patrick Henry